March 16, 2022

Penpal Across Decades and Oceans Meet for First Time

Category: Community

Author: Bayview

After two years of zooming during the global pandemic, international penpal and volunteer Jeslyn met Bayview Resident Elizabeth in person for the first time at Bayview. Here’s there story:

Jeslyn was born in California and raised in Singapore. Her father is Dutch and her mother is Thai. She has been tutoring and volunteering online in the US for a few years until she started studying in Thailand at the International School of Bangkok.

Jeslyn reached out to Bayview early during the pandemic to begin a penpal program with Bayview residents. She was connected with Bayview Resident Elizabeth in our Skilled Nursing & Rehab. Little did they both know that a blossoming friendship would begin.

Elizabeth has lived in California and Guam but calls Seattle her home. She was a sales executive for most of her career and was crowned Miss Queen Anne in the 1960s. Jeslyn was not only drawn to Elizabeth’s lifelong talents, wisdom, and experience but her stories and infectious personality.

Over the course of the next two years, Jeslyn and Elizabeth zoomed almost every week. Elizabeth felt like Jeslyn was like a granddaughter to her and often eased her worries, especially during the height of the pandemic.  Due to the time difference, Jeslyn would often stay up until 1 am to talk with Elizabeth. There have been birthday presents, video projects, and many wonderful aspects of this relationship throughout the pandemic. Check out Jeslyn’s very first video shown to Elizabeth here

Finally on March 8th, 2022, Jeslyn flew to Seattle to surprise and meet Elizabeth in person! They went out to lunch, shared more stories, and finally were able to hug each other with a loving embrace. Their penpal journey has been such a testament to the power of friendship and connection. In the case of Jeslyn and Elizabeth, it can cross decades and sometimes even oceans. Jeslyn is currently living in North Carolina and studying at Duke University. We’re grateful to share their intergenerational story.

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